Simkin, John. "Eugene Debs : Biography." Spartacus Educational. Education Forum, 11 Aug. 2009. Web. 30 Aug. 2011. <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAdebs.htm>.
1. Eugene V. Debs (1855–1926) was a pioneer labor organizer and five-time Socialist Party candidate for the U.S. Presidency. Debs advocated abolition of child labor, the right of women to vote, unemployment compensation, and a graduated income tax.
2. He later became a locomotive fireman, and in 1875 Debs helped organize a local lodge of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen. An active union member, he became editor of the association's Firemen's Magazine in 1878 and was elected national secretary and treasurer of the union in 1880.
3. One of the most famous strikes in U.S. labor history, it nearly paralyzed commerce in the western half of the nation before it was finally halted by a federal injunction. For his involvement in the strike, Debs was jailed for six months in 1895 in Woodstock, Illinois.
4. Debs spent much of his prison time reading and was deeply impressed by the works of Karl Marx.
5. He became convinced that no single union could protect the rights of workers. In the presidential election of 1896 he campaigned for the Democratic-Populist candidate William Jennings Bryan, but a year later Debs announced his conversion to socialism.
6. For the next 30 years Debs was the leading spokesman for democratic socialism to millions of U.S. citizens.
7. He helped form the Socialist Party of America in 1898 and was its presidential candidate in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920. Debs attracted huge crowds during his energetic campaigns throughout the country; he was an exceptionally effective public speaker, winning wide support through his personal warmth, integrity, and sincerity. His speeches also raised much-needed funds for the Socialist Party.